To many people, J.G. Ballard will always be the schoolboy in Steven Spielberg's movie Empire of the Sun, struggling to survive as an internee of the Japanese during World War II. Others remember him as the author of CRASH, a meditation on the eroticism of the automobile and the car crash, which also became a film and a cause celebre for its frank depiction of a fetish which, as this book reveals, was no literary conceit but a lifelong preoccupation.
In this first biography, John Baxter draws on an admiration of and acquaintance with Ballard that began when they were writers for the same 1960s science fiction magazines. With the help of the few people whom he admitted to his often hermit-like existence, it illuminates the troubled reality behind the urbane and amiable facade of a man who was proud to describe himself as 'psychopathic'.
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The serious biographer never excuses the subject out of admiration, nor sullies his works with scandal. Baxter, by profession a biographer of actors and film directors, demonstrates a deep, thoughtful and appreciative reading of Ballard’s work.Read Full Review of The Inner Man: The Life of J.... | See more reviews from National Post arts